State GOP Legislators' Revenge Won't Be on Democrats, But on the Old, Poor and Sick

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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People all over America should watch the special session of the Texas Legislature, just now beginning, if they want to see what Republicans are really up to.

Among other things, they're out to kill Medicare and Medicaid.

The regular session was stymied at the last minute when Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth filibustered a school finance bill until the clock ran out. Republicans, angry about it, are out to teach the Democrats a lesson.

They'll have a good chance to do just that during the special session, which operates under looser rules more favorable to the Republican majorities in both chambers. They were quick to warn Democrats, in fact, that they intended to gather up a lot of the bills they hadn't been able to get through the Senate, where their majority is slimmer, during the regular session and force them down the Democrats' throats in the special session.

This will be a great opportunity for the GOP to teach the Democrats in the Legislature the lesson they want to teach. We citizens need to have our pencils sharp and our notebooks open so we'll be sure to see what that lesson means for us.

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Via.
Robert Garrett of The Dallas Morning News Austin bureau reported yesterday that a good deal of the focus will be on health care. One of the measures the GOP wants to punish Democrats with is the "interstate compact bill," to allow states to refuse to accept federal health-care dollars above a certain cap and then spend what they do get from Washington without any federal oversight.

In a recent column in The New York Times, Paul Krugman made the point that programs under this kind of rubric will quickly become something very different and very reduced from what people have come to think of as Medicare. He was writing about medical vouchers, but this point applies to the interstate compact idea as well:

"The new program might still be called Medicare. Hey, we could replace government coverage of major expenses with an allowance of two free aspirins a day, and still call it 'Medicare.' But it wouldn't be the same program."
He said the medical voucher proposal points in only one direction: down.
"If the cost estimates of the Congressional Budget Office are at all right, the inadequate size of the vouchers -- which by 2030 would cover only about a third of seniors' health costs -- would leave many if not most older Americans unable to afford essential care."
In his story in The News, Garrett quotes Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, making essentially the same point about the interstate compact bill:
"The proposal is to turn over all the federal health care funds to us and have us exempt from any and all rules. We tend to be at the federal floor, and if there is no federal floor, legitimate questions can be raised about where Texas would be."
What questions? We'll be in the toilet. C'mon. You think Governor Rick Perry's going to make things better?

Like I say, if all those Tea Party people and Obama-haters want to get a cold-splash sobering look at the GOP's real agenda, they need to keep their eyes on Austin. We will see it laid out there in fairly bald fashion in the weeks ahead. The Texas GOP is about to unzip its skin and reveal its true inner nature as one big death panel.

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66 comments
Pecos_Drifter
Pecos_Drifter

So where were all these upset people when it came time to vote?

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

Teachers. Firemen. The elderly. The young. Females. Hispanics. Single mothers. Gays. African Americans. Democrats. Is there anybody left in this country for the GOP to hate?

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

If the GOP in Texas were a person, i'd be tempted to kick his_ass

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

So they punish the poor so they can get revenge on people they disagree with? The party of Christian values strikes back huh.

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

it's a case of good vs evil. And evil is way in the lead in Austin right now.

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

It seems appropriate to have a reality check. There a lot of business people that understand Perry leadership in Texas has continually won awards for corporate re-locations to Texas. How does that help the average guy on the street in Texas? He gets a job. Some of us still believe that this is the single most important success factor in economics and national success.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/f...

Texas created more jobs than a block of the 11 other best performing states. (with emphasis)

Please think.

ANAX
ANAX

Jim Schutze is a fear mongering idiot!

ANAX
ANAX

Jim Schutze is a fear mongering idiot

Droopydave
Droopydave

Its a shame to see a writer I once respected reduced to a fearmongering mouthpiece of the Democratic Party...

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

You are correct I called Jane Nelsons( R) Flowed Mound office today to give her a real look at what she was supporting.The person who answered the phone told me Medicare is Federal and Senator Nelson is State.I said Miss the State of Texas is in the process of opting out of Federal money with a cap so they will not need to follow Federal rules on spending money on health care.People must not know what they are going to do,without Federal rules on Medicare and Medicaid we will die.All older people will die and you young ones will also.I want Rick Perry and Jane Nelson to refund every dam dollar the government took from my paycheck for Medicare the past 55 years and I will buy my own insurance.

Harvey
Harvey

I wonder how many of the young who want to see the old taken off the Medicare  teat have ever thought about the ramifications.

Think about it.  Your parents, grandparents, no longer have Medicare and their Social Security isn't going to cover their tab.  Who then?

How about you?

Are you going to watch grandma die because you won't take out a loan for her medicine?

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It seems that this is not just limited to Texas-how about Wisconsin and Ohio that have been in the news.   it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next election cycle.  Seems like a gamble to me or a uber game of chicken.

Diana Powe
Diana Powe

I completely agree with this piece. However, can we please retire the phrasing about things being "shoved down [] throats". It's continued use is pure hack writing anymore.

Mike
Mike

What's the connection here between this material and the special session? Nothing other than some undefined idea at the beginning that does not even look like a state issue. What was the process: pull title from column A and rant from column B?

Texaspainter
Texaspainter

Everyone can watch the legislature online and you can also email your reps. and ask them kindly to do the 'right thing' because if they don't you'll kindly do the right thing and start a blog bashing them to the world so that they lose the next election. So give up some porn time on the computer and try to do a little something good for everyone. We're all gonna get old, sick, and possibly poor later on in life.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Man, Schutze, you caught us.  Fair and square.  Yep, conservatives want nothing more than to see the death and suffering of the poor, old, and sick.  You've uncovered our master plan.  We would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for paranoid whackjobs like you and all your loose screws.  

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

It would seem THE VOTERS Elected the ones who are making these changes .

So I guess that is what THE VOTERS wanted .

Lets see if THE VOTERS want to live with the changes they have brought upon themselves ?

We are a REPUBLICAN state and  now we get to see what that will do for us in the long run.

This will be Rich as we see how  GOP SUPPORTERS  Bob and Edna in Glen Rose feel about 24 hour nursing care needing Dementia suffering  Pap Paw is released  from The care facility and comes home to live with them ?

Can't wait to see the looks on folks faces around the state as this becomes an Evey day occurrence.

 

Sam Houston
Sam Houston

"Death Panels"= Texas Senate & House

While we're at it, let's see your ORIGINAL Birth Certificate, Rick Perry (or is it really Ricardo Perez? -- he's suspiciously tan for a white boy)

lorlee
lorlee

If you want to know the Health Care Industry's plan read a really scary book  "Deadly Spin"  An Insurance Company Insider speak out on how Corporate PR is killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans -- by Wendell Potter. 

Now you might say -- Ah Shucks, probably just another libtard diatribe.  You would be wrong.  The author was the head of PR for CIGNA. 

I recommend it.  (though if you want to borrow it from the library, you will have to wait a couple of months since the City has decimated the book buying budget)

Marks Powers
Marks Powers

This country can no longer borrow $40 for every $100 it spends.  Health Care reform including Medicare and Medicaid have to be on the table along with social security. 

Yes, Jim, we can put all that $100 Billion of corporate welfare on the table too as well as the defense budget.

Jim, here is a very readable report on what needs to be done authored by a bi-partisan panel, including Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.http://www.fiscalcommission.go...Rather than whining on what should not be cut from the budget, why don't you review this report and write on what you think should be cut from the budget.  Thanks.

dr_jack
dr_jack

The average guy probably looks at jobs as more than the binary got one/not got one that you are presenting.  Texas still remains 24th among states in terms of per capita Gross Domestic Product, well behind states like California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts.  Perhaps the fact that those states fund their public schools better leads to a better educated workforce that gets GOOD jobs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

The ends justify the unethical tactics??? I see where you're going with this, hmmm...Kinda like how economics trumps environment? 

JimS
JimS

It's not fear mongering if you tell somebody there's a bear about to attack him and there's a bear about to attack him.

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

At least Jim is mongering...you on the other hand are just an idiot!

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

Reporting on genuine fear isn't fear-mongering. Being the cause of it is.

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

What's your mouthpiece on besides Perry's codpiece?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Boy Betty, I wish you, or some/any enterprising reporter would go out and price health insurance for someone aged 75 in various states of health.  I'm not sure such a policy even exists.  Paul Ryan's plan is to hand you $8000/yr to buy your own insurance--good luck.  I'd love to see what fraction of your premium would be covered by $8000, I reckon it's less than 50%.  One of my best friends sells insurance, and, conservative that he is, HE thinks this is ludicrous.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Hell, we can't find jobs, so the only thing to do is wait to collect their estates.  This is really just a way to increase the velocity of that transfer of wealth; and, it saves the state from a great burden, old dying people who will vote to keep their benefits--selfish old people.

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

What a great idea...a porn and politics blog. There's gotta be one out there, but if not....

ConcernedinTexas
ConcernedinTexas

It's not that you're evil, it's just that you don't care. Which is kinda evil.

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. The second step is jumping off a cliff. Glad to see you're at step one.

John_McKee
John_McKee

It's not that you want it, it's just that you are OK with it happening if it saves you a few bucks.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Someone will figure out a way to blame it on liberals, they'll hear that on talk radio, and it will somehow turn out to be Obama's fault.

Brian G.
Brian G.

I'm with you Lorlee. When I want to learn something important about some important national policy issue, I listen to an industry PR flack who made his fortune shilling for the industry in question before he decided to reinvent himself in the aftermath of an unprecedented financial crisis that generated executive pink slips by the boxcar load.

The criteria I use, as I'm sure you do, too, are: does he reinforce what I want to believe? Is the context in which he speaks sufficiently ironic - former insider, now outsider - that what he says can't help but be the truth, because who ever heard of ironic contexts that delivered anything but truth? But most importantly, as a PR flack Potter had to have had the deep, inside accounting and actuarial experience needed to substantiate his claims. Who in CIGNA in their right mind would not invite him into the inner circle?

Of course, CIGNA and all the rest were not only consulted on, they helped draft the ACA long before Nancy Pelosi ever told us to read it to find out what was in it, but urban legends like Potter are indispensable if you are ever going to establish that context of irony crucial to selling an inside deal as reform to a needy, gullible public.

Speaking of PR flacks, why, I'm looking to chase down Chris Heimbaugh right now to find out everything Mary Suhm never told us about the inner workings of Dallas.

plfarmer
plfarmer

Let's just do what David Stockman ( Reagan's OMB director) says:Cut defence, let Bush 43's tax cut expire, and institute a Tobin tax.Alot better then the tea parties ideas, but would probable be called a RINO

Guest
Guest

And, you know, if we just returned individual income tax rates to the levels they were at during the longest peacetime expansionary period in history, we'd already get a long way toward balancing the budget.

(And how do you reform health care, including Medicare, when the last time the President and Congress reformed health care and Medicare - the ACA includes significant Medicare cost controls and mechanisms to offer incentives for providers to improve care while lowering costs - the country quickly starting whining about non-existent death panels and immediately started electing people vowing to repeal those reforms and cost controls as soon as they can get enough votes. Are we only allowed to reform Medicare in such a way as to simply shift costs without bothering to try to actually control costs?)

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

We might also lift the cap on contributions to the Medicare fund for the rich people. That would fund the system for quite a long time.

Rooster
Rooster

Not exactly, but you have to pick your poison.  You can't have utopia where jobs are plentiful, taxes are low, schools are funded, and everyone has awesome healthcare.  You have to pick which you're willing to sacrifice.  At the moment, Texas is choosing to sacrifice schools and possibly health care later.

I'd wager the very same people whose panties are currently bunched up about this would have their panties bunched up if they had to sacrifice jobs and have higher taxes to keep better quality schools and healthcare.

You can't have it all.  You can''t have utopia. 

Decide which you're willing to sacrifice, and then call your state Senator and give them the mandate.

...or you can continue to cry in you Cheerios like a spoiled 2 year old.  Your choice.

scottindallas
scottindallas

The whores (in the Lege) resent the competition from earnest providers out on the streets. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

No, they want it.If you're not an inbred, redneck, truck drivin, yankee hatin, church goin, gun totin, warmongerin, whitebread marekin, then screw you.

Montemalone
Montemalone

It already is.Us potsmokin, gay marryin, deathpanelin, libtard fuckwads have seceretly brainwashed the righteous wingnuts and forced them to fuck up the country beyond any reason.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Brian, you need to familiarize yourself with Wendell Potter.  He went to a free health fare and was blown away by the need.  I don't take issue with your later points, but I can tell you that few people agree with me until they realize I'm right.  I post a lot of "crazy" stuff on here, that so many come to see as true.  I hate both parties, I always take my own position, I love contradictory data--who do you suggest I'm following?

scottindallas
scottindallas

I'm no fan of David Stockman, though on this point he is correct.  Please note that David Stockman, the very guy who claimed to so resent gov't in Reagan's day, since bought many of our old line manufacturers out of bankruptcy--see Bethlehem Steel and others.  He drained all the money out of the pension funds--the only asset those firms retained and threw all the pensioners on the Federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Fund.  He's a bona fide Welfare Queen--those that Reagan derided never existed.

Rderrickwhite
Rderrickwhite

Returning income tax rates to clinton era levels would not actually balance the budget.  Before I get dog piled for saying it, I'd like to point out I'm a liberal democrat.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"... if we just returned individual income tax rates to the levels they were at during the longest peacetime expansionary period in history, we'd already get a long way toward balancing the budget."

Yeah its funny, conservatives yearn for the good old days of America's Greatest Generation, but can't seem to acknowledge that maybe the tax rates of those glory days had a little something to do with it.

scottindallas
scottindallas

screw you and your measured questions!  I want to hold to my platitudes and not have to think, consider the facts, or engage my time.  I want my modest coverage, not that excess all those I quietly resent get, luxuriating in their squalor.  Those poor people just need to get a job. 

Anonymous
Anonymous

Get a clue. There's no cap on Medicare, only SS.

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

Yeah you can. But, it would call for a certain group, that sits atop the economic food chain, to mete out a little more to the folks... who help em earn them their daily bread. 

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

I was thinking it might be more of a conflict of interest issue. But I definitely see where you're going.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Especially since the local providers are cheaper and at least leave you satisfied...

scottindallas
scottindallas

he referenced the much higher rates that ran from Kennedy to Carter 70%

Rderrickwhite
Rderrickwhite

A little more data.  If you look at the CBO's baseline budget data, you'll see that the public held debt continues to grow after 2014, when the Bush tax cuts are set to expire.  my point is this: the changes to public health care are great, but the budgetary gap that exists cannot be closed simply by reversing course on the bush era tax cuts.

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